dreamers of the golden dream by joan didion

Posted in readings on September 22nd, 2011 and

update and vocabulary quiz

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19th, 2011 and

hello there, young writers! I have good news: the blog roll is complete. Each of you has a blog, not that all of you have written in it yet, but the majority of you have indeed written two posts, and they are very good posts, as well. Don’t take my word for it–read them yourself, and then leave a comment, a little marker that you have passed through that particular territory in hyperspace. Before a comment–mine or anyone else’s–can be seen on your blog, you must “approve” it. I encourage you to do so so we can see what kinds of conversations are elicited by these interesting posts.

If you haven’t posted twice on your blog, well, there’s some writing in your near future, isn’t there?

Vis a vis our discussion about “wonderful words” the other day, I happened upon this vocabulary quiz. Take it, just for fun. Anyone who beats my score of 3,780 gets extra credit. And stay vigilant listening and looking for fascinating words that cross your path–I’d like to see them appear in your writing…


See you in a couple days–be well ’til then…


week 3

Posted in weekly assignments on September 16th, 2011 and

Creative Writing—Queens College—Fall 2011


WEEK 3—14 SEP Writing the Personal and the Public


“In the kingdom of glass everything is transparent, and there is no place to hide a dark heart.”

Vera Nazarian

Read “The Incident,” by Lee Gutkind (found on course blog)

Freewrite a page or two (in hardcopy, to bring to class) considering the following questions:

What kinds of information is disclosed in this piece that the people described in it might be opposed to being made public? How is Daniel described and how do you think he might feel about these descriptions? What purposes are served by telling the story as honestly as Gutkind has? If you were publishing this story, would you choose different words? Are there things you would leave out? What seems to be the author’s relationship with truth? How will you be challenged as a blogger of creative nonfiction in deciding how to describe people and how much information to reveal about them and about yourself? What problems or questions have you encountered so far regarding the tension between the personal and public?


Write and post your next blog entry by Sunday. Read and respond to peers’ blog-posts by Tuesday.


“the incident” by lee gutkind

Posted in readings on September 14th, 2011 and

week 2

Posted in weekly assignments on September 6th, 2011 and

Introduction to Creative Writing—Queens College—Fall 2011


WEEK 2—7 SEP Defining “Creative Nonfiction”

Read about creative nonfiction on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_nonfiction#cite_note-gutkindxi-0

and on the journal Creative Nonfiction website:


Then read “The Half Light” by Robyn Piz on the Shadowbox website:


(The story can be found by moving the cursor over the top of the virtual spice cabinet.)

Freewrite a page or two (in hardcopy, to bring to class) considering the following questions:

What elements of classic fiction and storytelling do you find in this story? What elements of nonfiction are in evidence? What do we learn about the author in this 8-page story? What questions remain about her? Choose a moment in the story when fantasy and reality seem to intersect; describe your thoughts and feelings about this intersection and the writing that describes it. Do you like this author’s writing? Why or why not?


Set up a WordPress account through qwriting. Revise and publish self-introductory blog post.



Posted in Uncategorized on September 6th, 2011 and

Welcome, Creative Writing Students!

Please note that the syllabus is accessible here, and you are free to comment or ask questions. Also your weekly assignments will be posted on the sidebar to the left.

Good luck setting up your own blogs. Feel free to email me with questions, and make use of the qwriting help link to the left.

Can’t wait to see your first posts!

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